Infographic: Creating the Right Content for Lead Nurturing: ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu
Ushering qualified leads through the sales funnel requires the right kind of content at the right time. Here’s what kind of content you need for ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu.
- ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu are abreviations for top of funnel, middle of funnel, and bottom of funnel, respectively.
- ToFu content should be geared toward audience engagement and getting contact information – not converting.
- MoFu stage content should establish that your business can address a prospect’s specific needs.
Consider this statistic: 50% of qualified B2B leads aren’t ready to make a purchase when they initially convert. That means that in order to usher prospects effectively through the sales funnel, marketers need to deliver the right content for each stage of the buyer’s journey. That’s where idea of ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu content comes in.
In case you’re wondering, none of these three words refer to soy-based vegetarian snacks. Instead, ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu are marketing portmanteaux, meaning top of funnel, middle of funnel, and bottom of funnel, respectively. Effectively nurturing inbound leads depends on creating and delivering the right type of content for each stage of the funnel.
ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu: a primer
Before we talk about what kind of content to deliver to prospects at each stage of the buyer’s journey, let’s take a closer look at what the terms ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu refer to and what your goals should be at each stage.
ToFu: top of the funnel
At the top of the sales funnel (ToFu), your goal is to draw in a wide audience of prospective leads, increasing brand awareness and customer engagement. This is the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey, and it represents your first impression. Leads at the top of the funnel are getting a sense of what your business does and your brand identity.
For ToFu leads, your goal isn’t conversion but simply to obtain contact information and generate interest. Says Gaetano DiNardi, Director of Demand Generation for Nextiva, ToFu “is where strangers become familiar with your brand for the first time… At this stage of the game, you don’t care about conversions; you care about piquing intrigue.”
MoFu: middle of the funnel
The middle of the funnel (MoFu), is the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey. This can be a tricky and uncertain stage as your leads continue to engage with your brand and learn about your products and services but remain unready to commit to purchase. “MoFu is usually the most complicated funnel stage because of how hard it is to define,” says DiNardi.
Ideally, by the MoFu stage, you should have a clearer idea of who your leads are and what they’re looking for. Your focus should be on continuing to educate your leads and situating your products and services as the solution to the challenges and needs of your prospects.
BoFu: bottom of the funnel
The bottom of the funnel (BoFu) is the decision stage of the buyer’s journey. You’ve established a relationship with your prospect during the MoFu stage, and your lead is now turning to you for specific information about your products and services. It’s at the BoFu stage that leads are ready to make a purchasing decision.
This is the stage when it’s all about conversion. Your goal is to inspire your lead to convert, helping them to realize that your business has the solutions they need. It’s important to note here that your goal is not to “sell,” but rather to make sure your leads know that you’re there to help.
Optimizing ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu content for lead nurturing
Once you have a clear idea of the stages of the sales funnel and your goals for each, it’s time to consider the right types of content to ensure that prospects receive exactly the right message for each step of the buyer’s journey.
ToFu content: generating engagement
At the top of the sales funnel, where your goal is to engage your audience and collect contact information from qualified prospects, your content needs to educate leads and establish thought leadership. ToFu content shouldn’t pressure your audience to make a purchase, but instead should be geared toward providing information that speaks to needs, challenges, and questions common to your target audience.
Some types of content that work particularly well for the ToFu stage:
- Blog posts
- Video content
MoFu content: addressing prospects’ needs
At this challenging middle stage, your content should begin to establish your business as the solution to a prospect’s specific needs and challenges. This is the consideration stage, and your lead is in the process of evaluating all available information to prepare to make a purchasing decision. Developing the relationship requires that your content be highly informative about how your business is ready to meet your prospect’s needs.
Because of the “wide net of interested leads who haven’t been fully qualified,” says DiNardi, “if you are too shameless about plugging your products or services, you’ll come across as pushy and likely to turn off buyers.” Instead, he suggests being “helpful and knowledgeable, while guiding your prospects into the right decision.”
Effective content types for the MoFu stage include:
- Email campaigns
- Free templates or guides
- Product-to-product comparisons
- Case studies
BoFu content: inspiring conversions
Now that your ToFu and MoFu content have attracted and nurtured a qualified lead, it’s time for your BoFu content to convince your lead to convert. It’s the closing stage of the buyer’s journey, which means marketers should be directing prospective buyers toward content that sells. This type of content is about cementing a decision and helping your leads recognize that your business has the right solutions.
“It’s important to note here that BoFu content can also lead directly into validation. This starts to cross the line from traditional content marketing to things like product marketing and customer testimonials,” says Mike Baker, marketing director at Lola.com. “As you work closer to the bottom-of-the-marketing funnel, your content should shift from purely educational to a more consultative, product-focused and a ‘show-don’t -ell’ style of marketing.”
BoFu content types geared to inspiring conversions include:
- Product demos
- Case studies and testimonials
- Free assessments or trials
- Targeted email campaigns
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